This is fascinating — and I apologize for being one of the wonks who jumped on your language.
What’s particularly interesting to me is that I’ve worked on two large open source projects (one very popular, one a little more niche), and the idea that the code is ownerless literally makes me shiver. In a bad way.
I’d love to have a conversation with those folks and figure out where they’re coming from. There certainly is an anti-capitalist, anti-property component to the open source movement, but that’s not where I come from, and the same is true for most people I know who contribute. I have a very hard time empathizing with this point of view.
It’s not so much that I don’t know they exist — but I would hazard to say that many of these people are consumers rather than contributors of open source, and as such I’m less likely to consider their opinion that nobody should own it. Everyone gets to dictate what happens to their own work — or, at least, they should.